USMLE Step 2CK Experience – 260 – Dr. Mike

My Step 2 CK experience

I’m writing this because I read about 30 or more experiences and it helped me make strategy. And I want to add mine to pass on this act of kindness.

CK Score – 260, exam in mid march. Prep time – 4.5 months with 2 weeks gap so 4m effectively. I’m a recent grad.
Step 1 score – 262, gave in mid sept last year.

Resources – uw for ck (gold standard), did online 2.5 times.
Cms all forms except family med. Nbme 4,6,7,8.
Uptodate for reference.
Uw step 3 for psych only.
Kaplan patient safety notes.
FA for step 1.

Process – got step 1 score in mid October, celebrated for few days. Started ck prep in late October. Tried mtb 2 for cvs for a week, didn’t like it so started straightaway with online uw. My step 1 prep helped a lot in CK prep. Never did mtb again. Did uw first round till mid January. I also annotated new points to all uworld notes (whoever did the hard work of compiling it I send my best wishes and blessings to you, thanks a million). Revised the notes after 1st round. Gave nbme 6 scored 258. Did marked and wrong questions and then I reset the uworld and went for the second round. Also solved some cms questions daily. Uwsa 1 (mid feb, 4 weeks before)- 271. Nbme 8 (3 weeks). Uwsa 2 (2 weeks) – 272. Nbme 7 (1 week) – 18 wrong. Free 120 – 89%. Read kaplan safety notes in between. Quickly scanned through my fa for step 1 in last 10 days. Read explanation for uw3 psych questions very quickly.

I also participated in Dr. Hesham Salem ‘s uworld crashes and they were the best, thank you doctor. I recommend these.

Exam day – stopped studying the evening before exam. Relaxed, went to the mall. Got 5 hours sleep and was grateful that I did. Reached center on time. Started exam. 1st block made me realize how long and uncomfortable the questions are going to be. My exam had questions tougher than uw or uwsa. Tough as in there were fewer clues to come to a diagnosis, or if I had to choose management then 2-3 options were very close and it was hard to choose between them. The uncertainty was killing me. My weakest point was speed and that was a real challenge in exam, more than step 1. Most blocks I had to rush in the end so as to cover all the questions. I marked few questions but didn’t have time to review them. But I was happy that at least I could see all the questions.

So I have 2 answers for you, they are going to sound contradictory to each other but they’re not-
A. Were all concepts asked in exam covered by uw? No, 60-70% were from uw.
B. Is uworld enough to get 250+ in ck? Yes, if you have your step 1 concepts with you (Those who are doing ck before step 1, go through experiences of people who did it like you).

1. CK is about real life cases so obviously you will have uncertainty about diagnosis or management like you have in real.
2. From what I’ve heard, no particular book is good enough for ck, so it may feel helpless. I haven’t tried kaplan, amboss, step up, etc so go through other experiences if you want to know about them.
3. Practice time management, make strategies to solve questions in 60-90 secs. I quickly scanned through options and labs before I went to a question stem to get an idea. I saved drug ads for the last.
4. Questions will feel weird but that’s okay. It’s like that for most of us. Try to come to a diagnosis/management like you would in a real patient.
5. Don’t spend too much time on unfamiliar questions as that would kill time for ones you’re prepared for.
6. If you have questions, comment in this post so that it benefits everyone. I may not reply to the DMs. I wish to respect the rules so I will not discuss any question from the real exam with you. If you know/recognize me then I request you to let me stay anonymous.

October 11, 2019
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